Cosmetic Surgery Nurse: Salary and Career Information

Sep 15, 2019

Registered nurses must have an associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing and their registered nursing license. Experienced nurses interested in pursuing a specialization as a cosmetic surgery nurse can take voluntary certification from the Plastic Surgical Nursing Certification Board.

Essential Information

Cosmetic surgery nurses are registered nurses who work specifically with patients undergoing cosmetic or plastic surgery. Like all nurses, they typically must earn a degree in nursing and pass the national licensing exam. Professional certification as a cosmetic surgery nurse is optional. It requires experience in the field and passing an examination. Salary information for this nursing specialty is not available, but demand for nurses in general is growing, and salaries are above average.

Required Education Diploma, associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing*
Other Requirements National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN)*
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 12% (all registered nurses)
Median Salary (2018)* $71,730 (all registered nurses)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Salary Information

In May 2018, the BLS reported that professionals in the 90th percentile or higher earned $106,530 or more per year, whereas the bottom 10th percentile earned $50,800 or less per year. Employment for registered nurses is also expected to increase at a much faster rate than most occupations, according to the BLS, from 2018-2028.

Career Information

A cosmetic surgery nurse is a registered nurse (RN) who primarily cares for cosmetic surgery patients. Cosmetic surgery typically includes elective plastic surgery procedures such as liposuction, facelifts and tummy tucks; however, some cosmetic surgery nurses may also care for patients undergoing reconstructive surgery from severe burns, birth defects or deformities generated by cancer.

A cosmetic surgery nurse has many of the same responsibilities as other surgical and operating room nurses, including sterilizing equipment, preparing the operating room and caring for patients before and after surgery. Often, cosmetic surgery nurses work at private clinics and serve patients with very specific requests.


In addition to being a registered nurse, someone interested in pursuing a career as a cosmetic surgery nurse may wish to apply for voluntary certification from the Plastic Surgical Nursing Certification Board. Certification typically requires a current RN license, at least two years experience as a plastic surgery nurse and passing the certification exam.

A cosmetic surgery nurse provides care for patients who are having cosmetic or plastic surgery. Job prospects for nurses in general are very bright, with above-average growth expected and a mean salary exceeding $75,000 as of May 2018.

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